Saturday, December 31, 2016

God's Left Hand - Book 1: Chapter 35

The big screen was live broadcasting the game.  Both of them began to methodically build their base.
They had played against each other before, so they knew more or less the other’s strategies.

“Grunt’s ranking is very high on; he’s been in diamond league for quite a long time.  Where he mainly battles with Korean professional Starcraft II players.”  Baona gave a detailed explanation and even began giving background information.  “When most of the Starcraft I players are still waiting to see how the competitive environment for Starcraft II will develop, Grunt was already the only Chinese player among the top six on”
Ai Qing knew Grunt was strong, but didn’t expect him to be this strong.
Then…...what’s Solo’s ranking?

On the stage, Solo’s face was illuminated by the screen.  Compared to Grunt’s powerful presence, Solo always gave the feeling of a calm sea before the storm arrived.
No matter how tumultuous next second would be, the moment before was always calm.
A calm that made others uneasy.

“As for Solo.”  Baona suddenly smiled with confidence.  “He never plays ladder on, rather he schedules matches with others.  Don’t worry about his ranking.”
Ai Qing simply responded with “en.”

On the screen, a fierce battle erupted and soon skirmishes broke out across the map.
The blood of Solo’s Zerg dyed the battleground red; they kept killing but couldn’t stop the Terran marines ......
When the resources at two of Solo’s three bases ran out, even Ai Qing who wasn’t a Starcraft II player knew that Solo’s resources were exhausted by now.  Without a new source of resources, he would no longer be able to fight.
She nervously looked at Solo, but couldn’t see his expression because of the reflection on his glasses.
But instinctively, she believed he couldn’t possibly lose so completely.

The male commentator mumbled, “Looks like this round is about to finish……”
The female commentator had been a fan of Ai Qing for years and therefore favored Solo.  But with the situation liked this, she also didn’t know what to say.  When the game had gone into the second half, she suddenly yelled at the screen as if to find some excuse for Solo,  “Infestors.  7 infestors!”

On the lower righthand corner of the screen appeared some infestors.  The audience instantly exploded.
“Infestors?”  Ai Qing looked towards Baona.
“Solo is using bio warfare.”  Baona simply explained. “No matter how many marines there are, it’s useless now.”
As Baona was talking, mariness on screen were falling down in droves; it was like wheat falling to a scythe…...even those at the CS contestant area got excited.
This kind of surprising turnaround wasn’t seen often.

If Solo’s meagre defense and withdrawal had confused the audience, then the current situation only proved one fact, that he had used the last thirty minutes to retreat and set up the perfect trap.
All who sat to the right of Ai Qing couldn’t contain his laughter.  “Solo is still so sneaky…...oh no, that’s not the right word.  I should say he treats his opponents, no matter who they are, as little kids.”
As he was talking, he excitedly patted Ai Qing’s lap.  “This is what a exhibition game should be.  A true exhibition game!”

The result had been determined when the infestors started to show up.
The first round, with Solo’s surprising comeback, Grunt lost without any objection.

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